Thursday, 15 August 2013

New round of Bahrain protests unlikely to destabilise regime

Bahraini police dispersed hundreds of anti-government protesters with tear gas August 14, Reuters reported...No casualties have been reported...The government increased security in an effort to prevent protests and introduced new anti-terror laws after protest planners announced demonstrations months ago...The United States also closed its embassy on August 14 in response to demonstrations...Bahrain is home to the US Fifth Fleet...Though anti-government protests persist, they have not destabilised Bahrain in any significant way...Demonstrations have become increasingly violent as the protests continue, and their tactics will likely become more extreme if it drags on...Bahrain largely escaped the Arab Spring because the monarchy wields relatively legitimate power, as compared to the Egyptian or Syrian regimes...But the protests among Bahrain’s Shiite population have been spurred on by Iran and the success of the Egyptian protest even while Manama refuses to talk to movement leaders...This latest round of demonstrations is unlikely to spiral out of control when the security forces are this well prepared and with the regime crushing all unrest early...Until the protests reach a critical mass in the country, they will remain an important but limited sideshow.

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